Widely regarded as the second-best flyweight in the world behind champion Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez is 25-4 over the course of his MMA career with his only losses coming to champions Johnson and Dominick Cruz (twice each). Sergio Pettis, a decade younger than Benavidez, has accumulated an impressive 16-3 record in his own right but lost his last fight to Henry Cejudo.
Round 1. Benavidez lands a series of leg kicks early. Pettis counters Benavidez with a right hand as Benavidez is moving in. Pettis then drops Benavidez with a punch moments later. Pettis rocks Benavidez with additional punches and Benavidez is in big trouble. Benavidez shoots in for a desperation takedown and he gets it. Pettis works his way back to his feet, but Benavidez has had plenty of time to recover. Benavidez looks to take Pettis back down but has to give it up. Pettis lands another strong straight right hand. Benavidez looks for a takedown. He doesn’t get it. Benavidez continues to come in throwing punches but he’s consistently getting countered. 10-9 Pettis.
Round 2. Benavidez swarms in with punches to start the second round and has some success. As he moves in a second time, he eats a hard counter. Benavidez then looks for a takedown and they end up clinched by the cage. Benavidez can’t get it, but he tries again after a separation. Pettis blocks Benavidez again and lands a solid kick back at range. Benavidez is the fighter consistently moving forward aggressively, but Pettis is having significantly more success landing offense. 10-9 Pettis.